European Union seeks institutional support for INEC ahead of polls

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By Msugh Ityokura and Michael Egbejule 

The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) has called on state institutions to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to enable it conduct hitch-free polls.

Speaking at a National Stakeholders Forum on the 2019 general elections it organised in conjunction with INEC in Abuja yesterday, its project coordinator, Rudolf Elbing, said the need for credible elections in the country could not be overstretched.

He tasked stakeholders in the electoral process to support the growth of Nigeria’s democratic system and work with INEC to ensure that democracy is sustained and elections are conducted in the most peaceful atmosphere.

Elbing noted that the forum, which is within the context of European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN), was to further strengthen collaboration and capability of electoral stakeholders to increase the level of confidence and self-awareness in the process.

He stressed that electoral administration was not a job for an electoral management body alone, saying there are many other important stakeholders who play vital roles in ensuring successful delivery of elections.

Speaking, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission would meet Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in the 36 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to review preparations and take decisions, particularly with regards to states with highest unclaimed Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs.)

He disclosed that 148 observer groups have been approved for the election comprising 119 domestic and 28 foreign groups, as well as 9,000 observers that would go round pulling units across the country on election day.